Muliwai Trail To Waimanu Valley

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Phone (808) 961-9540
Address Waipio Valley Rd, Honokaa, HI 96727
Difficult, nine miles long (each way), with camping available at the end. Not for everyone.

• General: Camping • General: Cost: Free • Hiking: Hiking • Hiking: Length: 8-10 Miles • Hiking: Level: Difficult
• Hiking: Level: Experts Only • Hiking: Major Elevation Changes • Hiking: Out & Back Trail • Sightseeing: Great Views

The Muliwai Trail To Waimanu Valley is a 9 mile long, out and back style hiking trail in the Honokaa area of Hawaii's Big Island that starts near the Waipio Valley Lookout, travels through the Waipi'o Valley and by Waipi'o Beach, and takes you to Waimanu Valley.

For those heading only to Waipi'o Beach, you'll only travel a small fraction of the 9 mile trail but will still be working your way from an initial height of around 1,000 feet above sea level all the way down to, well, sea level.

This portion of the trail is of moderate difficulty for most hikers but the descent can be steep in spots so going slow is key. Note that it's not for everyone.

If you're planning to do the entire hike, which will be an 18 mile round trip experience, you'll want to camp at the end in the Waimanu Valley. In this case, you first need to make a reservation for a camping permit by contacting the Hawaii District State Division of Forestry & Wildlife up to one month in advance.

If you plan to park at the Waipio Valley Lookout for more than 24 hours your car may be towed, so contact nearby Waipio Valley Artworks to arrange for longer term parking (around $20 per day) or get dropped off instead.

Though water may be available from streams along the hike, it must be purified before drinking. The last thing you want is to get sick from something like Leptospirosis out here. On that note, be sure to read up on Hiking Safety & Essentials before heading out. Be sure to wear bright clothing on this trail as this is a year round hunting area.

Continuing on past Waipi'o Beach, the Muliwai Trail zigzags its way up the wall of the Waipio Valley and brings you back up around 1,300 feet above sea level. The trail continues through a plateau while crossing many gulches, some that their own 500 foot elevation gains. As you approach the Waimanu Valley, the trail will descend another 1,200 feet down to sea level.

This is where you'll be camping. The area offers 9 campsites which can house a total of 48 campers. A pit toilet is available at the trail shelter along the Muliwai Trail while 2 composting outhouses are located at the camping area. With that kind of luxury you'll wonder why you're wasting money at some of the Big Island's nicer hotels. At least the views will be impossible to beat.